Thursday, February 28, 2013

Announcing the February Giveaway Winner!

We are excited to announce that the February Giveaway Winner is: Melanie!!!

We are so blessed by each of you that took part in the giveaway and know that the time that you spent with Jesus and memorizing His Word is the best reward you could receive!

Please stay tuned for the March Giveaway!

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."  Mark 12:30

Relishing the Warmth of Christ's Presence ~ by Janny

Thanks for being here - a place we can take a moment to think of our lives where they find their truest context – IN HIM! I’ve brought in a little extra of my Canadian context of this morning’s chores to show you too. Somehow being from northern Saskatchewan, warmth and love ring synonymous to me. In the summer I love to be in a rocking chair on the front porch just as the morning sun reaches the pillars of that spot. But in the winter, to be by the fireplace in the lounge room is to feel warm too.

Beloved, we live in an ageless climate of harsh cold lasting beyond the winter season. The elements confronting us are complex. Our generation faces its own immense struggles. There is only One Person that can come to our aid – in soul, intellect, and emotion – to help us navigate through the frosty mine field of these issues. That Person is God Himself.
Let’s go snowshoeing to reach three transformational aspects to having a soft, tender heart warmed to God, in God, through Jesus Christ.

The Desire:
Friends, can we ask God in the quietness of this moment for a treasure, to desire of Him one thing? If we ask for nothing, we’ll leave this screen with just that. In the plea of our often hard pressed hearts let’s ask “to behold His beauty.” (Psalm 27:4) He is LIGHT AND LOVE. In His brilliance we can see diamonds in the snow. In His warmth the ice on our eyelashes melt. In Jesus’ appearing we “ know the Love of Christ that passes knowledge.” My sister and I were looking up “to know” in Greek. It goes beyond the science of things and lists the sparkling *KNOW* you and I were meant to live in, thaw in every day. Sit in the sun of the love of God put behind each of these words: allow, be aware, feel, have knowledge, perceive, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand. As secularists form society’s culture through the arts often centering on their view of love, the kingdom of heaven shines a glow on this Love of God. It is a love, deeper than the pain of losing a friend, deeper than the sting of cutting words, deeper than the hurt of others’ sin, deeper than the suffering of long term illness, deeper than fear, rejection, disappointment, guilt, abandonment. Jesus is our refuge, so warm, sheltering and safe. Christ’s sacrifice made that place, that relationship possible for us. It is completely tension-free. There we don’t measure up or pretty face the truth.

Honesty is floor and walls of His Presence and yet what JOY we find there. We can go there, live there, dwell there. (Psalm 91). It can be said of us IN HIM, “God is known in all her palaces for a refuge.” Psalm 48:3

 The Decision:
At 15, I needed a refuge. My climate changed drastically. We moved. My peers, hardened through chilling indifference to God and the glaciated thoughtlessness of social acceptance, called me to join them and their ways. The easiest thing was to succumb to the numbness that had already moved into my extremities. But was I called to live as an icy piece of a frozen backdrop or was there some way to live warm? In the midst of that lonely decision, our wonderful Jesus called to me promising to generate heat within no matter the temperature drop. He promised to be my never-failing Friend every moment my decision to love Him would make me different. I had been so afraid to be different.

The Difference:
I wanted to reach my full potential - impressive achievements, higher education, status quos, status changes, award-winning performances - just like everyone else. But were we meant to exist in frozen traditions or in the LIGHT of the Son of LIFE?

This winter the phrase “the Lord appeared” caught my attention in my OT reading . Each appearing was a defining moment. Abram covenanted with God. Moses became Israel’s deliverer. Solomon received wisdom. In the NT, guys with nondescript backgrounds stood out with the stunning statement attached to their names, they had been with Jesus. Who knew we would reach our full potential, live ALIVE and WARM through a RELATIONSHIP. Not check offs on a page or goals, but through knowing the LOVE OF CHRIST.

Life is hard, but it doesn’t have to be cold. We know of a warm place. “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell safely by Him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between His shoulders.” Deut. 33:12 

Precious friends, let the loving warmth of the Lord Jesus’ relational transformation infiltrate your life by renewing your mind. Meditate through Eph 4. Remember: Life is not about being different. It is about a personally knowing Jesus and sharing His love with a world that needs to be loved. If you are warm enough you’ll begin to enjoy the winter and see the beauty in the coldest climate.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I Love You, Too ~ by Amy Vest

The only reason we can love,
Is because we know it from Above.
The only way we can know what love is,
Because He who is love showed us His.

Love shown through greatest sacrifice,
Our Jesus Christ lay down His life.
That we could ever be His Bride,
Walking daily by His side.

For those who’ve trusted in Him,
To cleanse and redeem them,
Repenting of their self and sin,
And making Him their Lord within.

As you know Him and trust His love yourself,
You will find it to satisfy like nothing else.
Then your heart with love will burn,
To love such a Savior in return.

There is no love in the universe,
Like the love of Him who loved us first.
Because God said, “I love you.”
We can now say, “I love you, too.”

(Copyright © February 2013)

“We love Him because He first loved us.”
  1 John 4:19

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

He will quiet you by His love

"The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
 he will exult over you with loud singing."

~ Zephaniah 3:17

Monday, February 25, 2013

White as Snow ~ by Amy Vest

I woke up and looked out my window.  Fresh white snow was falling beautifully from the sky and covering everything in a blanket of white.  “…Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7) came to my heart.  The wonder of Jesus’ power to wash me white as snow floods over me.

Friends, our hearts are sinful and we have all sinned.  Our sin separates us from a holy God and the relationship with Him that we were created for.  Left in this place, we are in very bad shape – separated from God now and destined to eternity separated from Him in hell. 

But, that is the power of the Gospel – Jesus’ work on our behalf!

Jesus Christ came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins, and rose from the dead – victorious over sin, death, and hell.  He stands ready to wash us from our sins, bring us into a right relationship with Him, and take us to Heaven with Him when we die.  This will become real for you in your life as you receive His grace to surrender your life to Him, repenting of (turning from) your sins, and trusting in Jesus alone to save you from your sins and make you right with Him.

As you do, He will come into your life as Lord, cleanse your sins, and bring you into a right relationship with Him.   

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” (Isaiah 1:18)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

This is the beginning of your amazing journey with Jesus.  You cannot walk with Him unless you are first His, cleansed from your sins by Him, and brought into a right relationship with Him.  This is the essential beginning of embracing the relationship with the Lord that you were created for.  Then He calls and allows us to walk in the wonder of the Gospel every day ~ living in the reality of Jesus' work for us, our right standing with God as a result, His forgiveness of our sins, the power to live for Him, and the treasure of a right relationship with Him, and the hope of eternity with Him in Heaven!

He stands ready to cleanse you and make you right before God so that you may have a personal relationship with Him.

Will you come to Jesus today?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

There Is No Friend Like Jesus ~ Kayla's Testimony

When I was 10 years old, I heard a speaker share the gospel. I was very convicted by what he said, so later that evening I went in tears to speak with someone who could explain the gospel to me because I did not think I was really saved. She explained salvation to me and I put my trust in Christ as my Savior and Lord. After that I had an intense desire to read and study God’s Word and get to know Jesus better. The more I studied, the more I realized how amazing Jesus is and that He is not just a God far away, but someone who can be a close friend, even a best friend. He has always been so faithful to show me His mercy and grace and love each day. Jesus has given me so much hope and joy that I never find with anyone else. I have so much peace when I walk closely with Jesus and even in the times when I have drifted away some, He has been faithful drawn my heart back to Him.
One example of a time I started to drift was last summer when I started to become really good friends with someone from my church. We spent a lot of time together and we would talk on the phone and text a lot too. It was a very godly friendship. We would often read our Bibles and pray when we would get together, and on the phone we would talk about church and tell each other what God had been doing in our lives. I was so happy that God had blessed me with such a godly friend.
 But over time I noticed something started to happen. I was spending less and less time reading my Bible and in prayer. I did not think about the Lord as much throughout my day and how I could honor Him. I was too preoccupied with this newfound friend who was taking a lot of my time and thought. So I started to drift away from my friendship with Jesus and He was given second place.
As I realized this was happening, I also started to realize a lot of my joy was gone. I was not living in the peace that only God can give because problems started to surface as a result of this friendship. I went from being very happy to not very happy at all. I was had a lot of inner turmoil. It was at this time, that God removed this friend from my life. It was a little difficult at first, but I could see God’s grace through it in so many ways.
I now had so much more time to spend in my personal devotions. It was so wonderful to be able just to focus on Jesus and His Word. I could pray without any distractions. I was not looking forward to being with someone else more than I was with my Savior. I began to experience again the joy that only comes from being close to Jesus and having Him as my best friend.
It is good to have close friendships with other godly people, but when they replace Jesus as your very best and closest friend, they can become a distraction and God, in His love for us, may remove them from our lives or lead us to back away a little. Even though it can be hard sometimes, God always does what He knows is best for us and what He knows will give us the most joy. And He has shown me that nothing or no person can give you more joy than walking closely with Jesus and having Him as your closest friend.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Releasing Session 1 ~ "Jesus is Your Best Friend" ~ The"Beautiful to God" Conference!

Session 1 ~ "Jesus is Your Best Friend" ~ Beautiful to God Conference from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the release of Session 1 of the "Beautiful to God" Online Conference ~ "Jesus is Your Best Friend"!  We are so thrilled to have you join us and are so excited for what the Lord has in store!

The purpose you are on this earth is for a relationship with Jesus.  This relationship with Him is the most important thing in this life and in eternity. "Jesus answered... you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'"  (Mark 12:29-30)  This relationship with Him is what you are created for, called to, and cannot be satisfied apart from.  Jesus is calling you to a deep and personal relationship with Him.  He is what you are longing for!  (Psalm 107:9) 

The Lord has amazing things in store!  (Please be sure to see below for additional materials and details that will help you get the most out of the conference!)  We are praying that He will meet with you in powerful ways as you seek Him ~ and that none of us will ever be the same as a result.  Are you ready?

Looking forward to seeking the Lord with you,
Amy Vest
for Loving the Lord Ministries, Inc.

Get the most out of the "Beautiful to God" Online Conference!

 Details on getting the most out of the conference:

~ Session 1 - You can click on the image of the video above to watch Session 1Join us for this session as we talk about the most important relationship in the world!
~ Introduction Video - There is a short
Introduction Video you can watch that will be helpful as you begin watching the conference.  (It is not necessary, though!)
~ Handout - You can download a copy of the handout for Session 1 on the
Loving the Lord Ministries website under the "Online Conference" section.
~ Study Guide - There will be a study guide for you to use for personal study or group discussion on the
Loving the Lord Ministries website under the "Online Conference" section.
~ Blog - Stay posted on the
Loving the Lord Blog for more encouragement on the topics that we are covering!
~ Your Heart - If you watch this conference with a heart that is soft and open to Jesus, there is no end to what He will do!

Ideas on how to use the online conference:

~ Personally - sit down with your Bible, handout, study guide, pen, and a heart ready to meet with Jesus!
~ Mother/Daughter or Sisters - find a special time as a family to cuddle up, watch the video, and discuss it together!
~ Group - gather a group of young women to watch and discuss the material together!
~ Online - watch and discuss via Skype, chat, email, etc. with long-distance friends!
~ and more!
We would love to hear the ideas that the Lord has given you!
For more ideas on leading a group, visit the
Loving the Lord Ministries Website under the "LTL Groups" section!

Announcing the February Giveaway!

~ Announcing the February Giveaway! ~
The giveaway this month is: 
The "What Friendship and Life Are All About" DVD and Workbook Set

There are 4 ways to enter:
1. Memorize our memory verse for the month and quote it to someone. (February's is ~ Mark 12:30)
2. Watch the video and comment on our blog ( beneath the video post, sharing one thing Jesus is doing in your relationship with Him.
3. Share the Session 1 video on Facebook, your blog, or by email, encouraging your friends to join us.
4. Spend 15 minutes of personal devotions with the Lord in Bible reading, prayer, etc. (For encouragement on having powerful devotions, you can watch a video by clicking HERE.)

You can do all of the above! (You can enter a total of 4 times.)

Email and tell us your number of entries by February 26th to be entered for the giveaway drawing.

(You can enter a total of 6 times each month with the above opportunities)! We will announce the winner on the blog on February 28th!

Introduction Video to the "Beautiful to God" Conference!

Join us for this short introduction and prayer as we begin the "Beautiful to God" Online Conference! We are so excited for all that the Lord has in store as we seek Him!

"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

BTG Conference ~ Introduction from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nothing is able to separate us from His love!

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?"

"...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."   
~ Romans 8:35&37